The FBI says its latest data on hate crimes in the nation show they increased again in 2008 — though some of the rise may be because more agencies are reporting on such offenses.
In data released this morning, the FBI says:
— Agencies last year reported 7,783 incidents and 9,691 victims of crimes based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin or disability. In 2007, agencies reported 7,624 such incidents and 9,535 victims.
— "An analysis of the 7,780 single-bias incidents revealed that 51.3% were motivated by a racial bias, 19.5% were motivated by a religious bias, 16.7% were motivated by a sexual orientation bias, and 11.5% were motivated by an ethnicity/national origin bias. One percent involved a bias against a disability."
Those figures vary little from the 2007, when 50.8% of the incidents were motivated by a racial bias, 18.4% by a religious bias, 16.6% by a sexual-orientation bias and 13.2% by an ethnicity/national origin bias."
— But, the number of offenses linked to the victim's sexual orientation did go up about 11%, to 1,617.
The FBI's full report is posted here.